Services for Your Family
Dental exams are essential to keep your oral health in good shape. The exam allows the dentist to thoroughly inspect your teeth, gum and bone tissues. The dentist will check to ensure everything is ok and if there are any possible oral health complications. Some things the dentist will check for are:
- Teeth that are decayed, damaged or missing
- Possible signs of cavities
- Gum issues, such as inflammation, pockets, and gum disease
- Previous dental work, such as bonded fillings … Click to go to the page of bonded fillings … or dental crowns … Click to go to the page of dental crowns …
- Signs of oral or throat cancer
- Bite misalignments
- Signs of teeth clenching or grinding
- Temporomandibular joint disorder or pain
In addition, the dental exam includes a review of your medical history. Dental x-rays may also be ordered to have an inside look of your oral structures, and to check for cavities, impacted wisdom teeth and bone loss.
During the exam, be sure to inform your dentist about:
- Any recent medical conditions, such as AIDS or diabetes
- If you’re pregnant
- Changes to your oral health, such as loose teeth, increased sensitivity, changes in your mouth’s skin color
- If you smoke
- If you have dental fear or phobia
The more your dentist knows, the better he/she will be able to treat you.
Bonding is a quick and effective means of making minor repairs to your teeth, such as:
- Repairing missing or chipped teeth
- Restoring a broken tooth to proper size
- Removing stains by painting over them
Bonded can often be done in a single visit, where several teeth can be treated at the same time. Bonding uses a composite resin that is tooth-colored. It can be shaped and hardened with light to look just like a natural tooth.
Bonding material can also be used for fillings. Many patients prefer bonded fillings since it closely resembles the color of your natural teeth. They are ideal for front teeth or teeth that are more visible.
However, compared to crowns, bonding is not as stain-resistant. It’s also more likely to chip or break off. If this does happen, contact your dentist for a repair.
A dental bridge is a great option for filling in missing teeth. Compared to dentures, bridges are more stable and look more natural.
Dental bridges are recommended for one or more missing teeth. They are artificial teeth that use adjacent teeth as support to stay in place. They also help to stabilize the remaining teeth and prevent shifting or rotating.
To fit the bridge properly, the adjacent teeth must be filed down. An impression will then be made that will be used to create your bridge. While your permanent bridge is being made, you will be fitted with a temporary one. Once the permanent bridge is ready, your temporary bridge will be removed, and the permanent one will be bonded to your teeth. A bridge can be constructed from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a mixture of these.
While a bridge can last for many years, it can become loose. How long a bridge last largely depends on the health of your teeth, gum, and bone tissues supporting it. Thus, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene … Click to go to the page of oral hygiene … .
Dental crowns are effective for restoring damaged, fractured, or decayed teeth.
Dental crowns cover a damaged tooth’s entire surface. Crowns can be constructed from gold, alloys, ceramic, or acrylic. Alloys are more durable and are often used for back teeth, while porcelain is popular due to its natural appearance.
Other uses for crowns include:
- Replacing a filling
- Enhancing a weak tooth
- Attaching a bridge
- Covering a dental implant
- Protecting a tooth that underwent root canal treatment
- Restoring a discolored or misshapen tooth
Before a crown is constructed, the damaged tooth has to be reduced to ensure a proper fit. An impression will then be made, which will be sent to a dental lab to create your permanent crown. While your permanent crown is being made, a temporary crown will be placed. Once your permanent crown is ready, the temporary one is removed, and the new crown is bonded to the tooth and shaped.
How long your crown lasts depends on how well you take care of your teeth and gums. Thus, good oral hygiene is important to ensure it lasts for a long time.
Dentures are false teeth that the patient can wear to replace missing teeth. Dentures can be full dentures or partial dentures. Full dentures are worn when all your natural teeth are gone. Partial dentures, also known as “partials”, are worn when you still have remaining teeth or when your teeth are unable to support a dental bridge.
Full dentures stay in place by suction and use your gum and bone tissues as support. Partial dentures stay in place by using clasps that attach to your remaining teeth.
It’s essential to have good oral hygiene to keep your dentures and your mouth tissues clean. Daily cleaning helps to prevent plaque and stain buildup.
Your dentures may become loose or worn out over time. Thus, they need to be regularly readjusted and inspected to ensure they are working optimally. Contact … Click to go to the page of Contact … your dentist if you’re interested in getting dentures.
A tooth extraction occurs when a tooth is removed from the socket in your mouth. Tooth extractions are usually only performed when a tooth can’t be saved due to excessive damage or decay. Other common reasons for a tooth extraction include:
- A baby tooth is blocking a permanent tooth from erupting
- A wisdom tooth becomes impacted, possibly causing pain, infection and discomfort
- A tooth becomes infected
- An extra tooth is impeding other teeth from erupting
Before removing a tooth, an x-ray of the tooth will be taken. Your medical and oral history will also be reviewed. Antibiotics may be administered and will depend on the patient and procedure. They are usually given if you have an infection, a weakened immune system, or your surgery will be long. Sedation can also be given if the patient prefers it.
You will be given a local anesthetic to ensure you don’t feel any pain. If an impacted tooth is to be removed, gum and bone tissue covering the tooth will be removed, and the tooth will be slowly loosened.
Once the tooth is extracted, a blood clot will often form in the socket. You will be required to bite down on gauze to stop the bleeding. Stitches may be placed to seal the extraction site. Depending on your situation, your dentist may recommend you replace the tooth to prevent possible complications.
Following your procedure, there may be some mild discomfort. Taking a painkiller, such as Advil, can help reduce the pain; however, ensure you take the proper dosage. You can also put on an ice pack to reduce the swelling. Your dentist will give you detailed instructions to ensure your mouth heals properly.
If any cavities are discovered, they may need to be filled. If a cavity is large and isn’t filled, it can become larger and cause serious oral health complications.
The majority of fillings are performed in two ways:
- Direct fillings – these are given directly into a cavity that has had the decay already removed.
- Indirect fillings – these often require multiple visits and can include inlays and crowns. They are created in the lab to fit your tooth.
Fillings can be an amalgam, gold alloy, and ceramics. Gold is stronger; however, ceramics are popular due to their longevity.
Missing teeth can make speaking, chewing, and smiling problematic. Although there are a variety of tooth replacement options, dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth.
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are constructed from porcelain, titanium, and other materials. They are surgically implanted into your upper or lower jaw; thus, they are an extremely stable tooth replacement option.
Over the course of several months, your tissues will slowly heal and grow around the implant, holding it firmly in place. Once fully healed, a crown will be placed on the implant, which is customized to look like your other teeth. Implants can also be used to anchor dentures into place and prevent shifting.
Before an in-office fluoride treatment, your teeth will be cleaned and treated. The in-office fluoride treatments are stronger than over-the-counter ones and stay on your teeth longer. They are applied via gel, foam, or varnish. Before treatment, the teeth are dried to ensure the fluoride will not become diluted. The entire process should take a few minutes.
To ensure the fluoride has enough time to act, don’t eat, drink or smoke for a minimum of 30 minutes following your appointment. Fluoride is safe and effective in protecting your teeth; however, it should never be swallowed. This includes toothpaste and mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Talk to your dentist about proper fluoride use.
Mouthguards are ideal for athletes who participate in contact sports (football, rugby) and non-contact sports (weightlifting, gymnastics). They can also help to treat TMJ symptoms and headaches.
Mouthguards can include three main types:
- Stock mouth protectors – are inexpensive and easy to fit; however, they are often uncomfortable and offer the least protection.
- Boil and bite mouth protectors – they are softened in boiling water and then worn to create a mold. These are easier to wear and offer more protection.
- Custom-fitted mouth protectors – these are created in a dental lab and are fully customized to your mouth. They are the most comfortable to wear and offer the most protection.
When selecting a mouthguard, the most important thing to keep in mind is finding one that fits and is comfortable to wear. Your dentist can help you choose an appropriate one, depending on your needs.
Nightguards are effective in preventing tooth grinding and clenching. Although you can buy nightguards at your drugstore, custom-made ones by your dentist offer better protection and fit. Impressions of your bite are taken, which are used to construct your nightguard.
Your root canal is performed by your dentist or endodontist (a dentist who is specialized in treating the dental pulp or nerves of the teeth). You are given a local anesthetic to eliminate any pain during surgery. A rubber dam is then placed around your tooth to be treated to prevent bacteria in your saliva from contaminating it. An opening is made in the tooth, and the dental pulp is removed by enlarging and cleaning the root canal system. The canal is then filled and resealed with a temporary or permanent filling. A crown may also be placed to fully restore the tooth.
A root canal can take 1-2 appointments to complete. Your treated tooth may feel tender for a couple of weeks following the procedure. To protect your tooth, it’s important you brush and floss regularly.
Sealants are most suitable for permanent moles. The application process is quick and simple. The tooth is first cleansed and dried, and the sealant is applied. The sealant may also be hardened by light, with the entire process taking about a minute.
Sealants can last for up to 10 years and should be checked regularly during a dental visit. They can be reapplied if they become loose.
It’s important to practice good oral hygiene to prevent cavities and decay. Sealants are only a part of a preventative dental care program; thus, you still need to brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth healthy.
Veneers can be made of porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain veneers are suitable for treating more severe oral problems, such as excessive chipping, wear, discoloration, and spacing. Composite veneers are more suitable for minor restorations, such as small chips, cracks, and discolorations.
Veneers improve the durability and appearance of your teeth. If you are interested in veneers, talk to your dentist today.
If a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, it’s recommended it should be removed. The best time to remove them is between the ages of 16 to 20 since your roots and bones are still soft and developing. As you get older, your teeth harden, which makes them harder to remove.
During surgery, you will be given local anesthesia to eliminate pain during the procedure. Your dentist will then cut your gum or bone tissues to extract the tooth. Stitches may also be placed to ensure the wound heals quickly. Gauze pads will be provided for you to stop bleeding. To reduce swelling, you should apply a cold compress to the treated area.